Modrall Sperling Law Firm

Solenex, LLC v. Bernhardt, Secretary, U.S. Department of the Interior: Cancellation of 1982 Oil and Gas Lease Upheld – Significant Cultural and Religious Lands of the Badger-Two Medicine Area in Montana

Introduction and Setting           On June 16, 2020, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia wrote what could be the last chapter in a long-running dispute over an oil and gas lease issued by…

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Court Resuscitates NWP 12 But Only for Non-Pipeline Projects

The United States District Court for the District of Montana breathed partial life back into Nationwide Permit 12 (NWP 12) in its May 11, 2020 decision limiting the scope of its April 15, 2020 vacatur of NWP 12 to new construction of…

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Revisiting and Updating the Dakota Access Pipeline Controversy

Federal Court Orders U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to Prepare An Environmental Impact Statement[1]   In a March 25, 2020 decision, issued over two and a half years after his remand of the Corps’ permitting approval authorizing construction of an oil pipeline…

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U.S. Supreme Court Establishes Middle Ground on Clean Water Act Regulation of Point Source Pollutant Discharge and Travel Via Groundwater

In County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund,[1] the United States Supreme Court provided its latest decision on the regulatory reach of the federal government to control discharge of pollutants into navigable waters under the Clean Water Act (“CWA”). Justice Breyer, writing…

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The Corps’ NWP 12 for Pipelines and Transmission Lines is Vacated and Enjoined

The United States District Court for the District of Montana, Great Falls Division, issued an order on April 15, 2020 in the ongoing litigation regarding permitting of the Keystone XL pipeline that has far-reaching implications for pipeline, electric utility line, and other…

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Water Quality Control Commission Unanimously Approves Mine’s Proposed Regulatory Amendments to Surface Water Standards

On October 8, 2019, following a public hearing, the New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) unanimously approved Peabody Natural Resources Company’s (Peabody) proposed amendments to the WQCC’s regulations governing standards for interstate and intrastate surface waters codified at N.M. Code R….

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Minerals for New Technologies and Low Carbon Economies

Co-Authored by Stuart Butzier – Modrall Sperling and Casper Herler – Borenius Attorneys, Helsinki, Finland Originally printed in the Newsletter of the International Bar Association’s Mining Law Committee…

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Court Affirms Contested Mine Permit Revision Changing Underground Uranium Mine from Standby to Active Status

In an appeal on the record taken by environmental groups pursuant to Rule 1-074 NMRA, the First Judicial District Court in Santa Fe affirmed a significant revision of Mt. Taylor Mine’s existing mine permit originally issued decades ago under the 1993 New…

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Water Quality Control Commission Unanimously Upholds Proposed Mine’s Groundwater Discharge Permit Issued Under the Copper Rule

On August 13–14, 2019, in what many view as bellwether cases, the New Mexico Environment Department’s (NMED) Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) decided two administrative appeal challenges to the first-ever groundwater discharge permit (DP) issued by NMED to a proposed new copper…

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New Mexico Produced Water Act

The New Mexico Legislature passed by an overwhelming majority, and Governor Lujan Grisham signed, the Produced Water Act, a bipartisan effort to encourage and facilitate the recycling and reuse of produced water by oil and gas producers and the conservation of fresh…

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